Treasury to assist in covering e-toll costs

The Treasury was set to make some contribution to e-tolls in Gauteng to cover part of the associated costs, Nhlanhla Nene said yesterday.

“Not all infrastructure services qualify for budget funding. Cost recovery from users is a key foundation of infrastructure sustainability, together with fiscal support for access to essential services,” the Finance Minister said.

“Concerns regarding the social-economic impact of toll tariffs have been heard, and revised monthly ceilings will shortly be proposed… Measures will also be taken to ease compliance and improve enforcement,” he said.

On mining and resources, Nene said R2.7 billion had been allocated over the medium term under the mineral policy and promotion programme to promote investment in mining and petroleum beneficiation projects.

About R108 million has been allocated for research and regulatory requirements for licensing shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing.

Nene said with enterprise development, R10.2bn had been allocated to manufacturing development incentives and support for growing service industries, such as business process outsourcing.

“Under Minister (Rob) Davies’s oversight, the manufacturing competitiveness enhancement programme will spend R5.4bn and will assist 1 450 companies with support to upgrade facilities and skills development,” he said.

Special economic zones have been allocated R3.5bn over the medium term, mainly for infrastructure development.

The Small Business Development Department has been allocated R3.5bn for mentoring and training support for small business.

Nene announced a number of infrastructure projects that the government was funding, including R1.1bn allocated for the upgrade of the Moloto road.

Other infrastructure projects include R80bn on 220 water and sanitation projects and local roads, R105bn on housing and associated bulk infrastructure and over R18bn in electrification funding to provide for 875 000 households to be connected to the power grid.

On education, Nene said over R640bn had been allocated to basic education during the next three years.

“The number of qualified teachers entering the public service is projected to increase from 8 227 in 2012/13 to 10 200 in 2017/18. To support teacher training, R3.1bn will be awarded in… bursaries over the next three years,” the minister said.

“The school infrastructure backlogs programme is allocated R7.4bn for the replacement of over 500 unsafe or poorly constructed schools, as well as to address water, sanitation and electricity needs. The education infrastructure grant of R29.6bn over the medium term will enable all schools to meet the minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure by 2016,” he said.

On the topic of defence, public order and safety, the minister announced that this sector of government would have a budget of R163bn this year and this allocation would climb to R193bn in the 2018 fiscal year. Police will receive about 48 per cent of this allocation.

Source: IOL Property

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